Albion aces in mood to shine
Fitting home for Jack's Cup
Old rivals Wexford Albion and Celtic met in a high class Jack's Mini World Cup final on Sunday and it was the home side that claimed the trophy for the sixth time in its 44 years thanks to goals from Alex Currid and People Newspapers man of the match Luke Murphy.
Wexford Albion A 2 Wexford Celtic A 1
The highlight of many an end of season for the Under-10s of the county, the tournament is now named after the late, great Jack Carthy, a stalwart of home side Albion over the decades. He would, no doubt, have been pleased with the destination of the trophy but even more so with the quality football on show.
Much of that football was played by Albion as they set about attacking the visitors with a speedy three-man midfield. Luke Murphy was absolutely majestic in the role of driving centre-fielder and his strong running, perfect passing and accurate shooting was the formula needed to propel his side to victory.
However, teams aren't just about the star man on the day and nippy forward Alex Currid ran his team-mate close for the individual honour. His goal from a deft flick in the fourth minute after being found close to goal by Jesse Dempsey was sublime.
Two minutes later Albion had doubled their lead. Murphy went close in the opening minute when he was denied by a stunning Killian Whelan save, but there was nothing the Celtic stopper could do to deny him from making it 2-0 from the edge of the penalty area.
The goals rocked Celtic who didn't create a clearcut chance until Oisín Kavanagh fired narrowly wide from Alexis Asgharian's cross just before the interval. In between that and the early goals, Albion went close to a third on several occasions with Ben English, Currid, Murphy, Ryan Curran and Alex Kirby all trying their luck.
Celtic were a different team after the break playing down the hill and set about putting pressure on the hosts. David Osasare saw his shot saved, Darby Purcell fired wide and was then denied when his volley from Eoghan O Lionáin's corner was saved by the excellent Max Stone.
The Sinnottstown Lane side did get back into the game when Purcell cut in from the left and side-footed to the bottom corner of the net. Yet it was Albion who had the better chances to score and came within the width of the post when Dempsey's shot cannoned off Alexis Asgharian and clunked the metalwork.
In the end it didn't matter as Alex Kirby lifted the cup on behalf of his side who deserved their victory. Duncannon forward Harrison Waters picked up the top scorer award but his team just missed out on third place, losing to New Ross Town in the play-off.
Star man - Luke Murphy (Wexford Albion): Murphy took the award, sponsored by The People Newspaper, based on a superb performance in every facet of the game. His shooting, passing, dribbling and tackling were all top class - a real menace whom Celtic couldn't contain.
Belgium (Wexford Albion): Max Stone; Alex Kirby (capt.), Ben English; Kalem O'Connor, Luke Murphy, Jesse Dempsey; Alex Currid. Subs. (rolling) - Reece Leonard, Ryan Curran, also Mark Tormey.
Denmark (Wexford Celtic): Killian Whelan; Darby Purcell (capt.), Darragh Houghton; Oisín Kavanagh, Eoghan O Lionáin; Jake Gilsenan, Alexis Asgharian. Subs. (rolling) - Cuan Gallagher, David Osasare.
Referee: Jimmy O'Neill.